> Western Medicines > Acarbose


Used for: Type 2 diabetes
Chinese name:

What is Acarbose for?

Acarbose belongs to a class of medication called alpha-glucosidase inhibitors which is indicated for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. It slows the digestion of food to sugar so as to reduce postprandial glycaemic rise.

How to use it?

Acarbose is taken by mouth as tablets.


Initial dose:
50 mg three times daily with the first bite of each main meal. In order to minimize the gastrointestinal side effects, you may choose to start at 50 mg once daily with gradual increase to 50 mg three times daily.


Maintenance dose:
Increase the dose at 4- or 8-week intervals based on your glucose levels to 100 mg three times daily with the first bite of each main meal.


Maximum dose:
Maximum 50 mg three times daily for patients weighing ≤ 60 kg.
Maximum 100 mg three times daily for patients weighing > 60 kg.

What are the side effects of Acarbose?

Common side effects of Acarbose include flatulence, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. This medication does not cause weight gain.

Who should not take Acarbose?

  • People who are allergic to Acarbose or any component of the formulation
  • Patients with diabetic ketoacidosis, cirrhosis, inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal obstruction, or other intestinal diseases

Pharmacist Tips:

  • Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have symptoms of a low blood sugar level, such as sweating, feeling dizzy, fast heartbeat, and/or pale skin.
  • You may need to keep glucose tablets or gel with you in case your blood sugar level becomes too low. Table sugar may not work as well, because Acarbose keeps your body from absorbing regular sugar quickly.

Common dosing schedule:
Acarbose should be administered with the first bite of each main meal. Do not administer if you do not have adequate oral dietary intake.


This schedule is for reference only, adjustments may be made according to individual needs.


Some common medications Acarbose may interact with:

Please notify your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking the above medication, dosage adjustments might be needed.

Where to buy Acarbose in Hong Kong?

In Hong Kong, Acarbose is a prescription only medicine, and requires a prescription from a doctor to be purchased in a pharmacy. It can also be obtained from doctors. To find a pharmacy near you, refer to the list of pharmacies (“Authorized Sellers of Poisons”) from the Hong Kong Department of Health.


For more information about drug names and ingredients, you can visit Hong Kong’s Drug Office at https://www.drugoffice.gov.hk

Need more information?

For detailed information about the use of Acarbose in children, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and for questions about drug interactions, please check with your pharmacist or doctor.

Disclaimer: our goal is to provide you with the most relevant drug information and common dosage for Hong Kong. This information does not constitute medical advice. For specific treatment recommendations and advice, always discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, and follow the instructions included with your specific medicine.

Brands in Hong Kong
Available dosage
  • 50mg / 100mg (Tablets)
Drug class
Antidiabetic Drugs
Sub class
Alpha-Glucosidase Inhibitors
Other drugs in same class